Biography

Catherine Y. Spong, M.D., is a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She also serves as Chief of the Department's Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Spong specializes in prematurity, fetal complications, and improving outcomes in children. Her clinical responsibilities are in the Parkland Health and Hospital System.

Dr. Spong received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in 1991. After serving as Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, she began her career at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow, which also included clinical work at Georgetown University. Then, she became a Clinical Associate and Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the NICHD's intramural research program. There, she directed a lab, the Unit on Perinatal and Developmental Neurobiology, that focused on neuroprotective peptides and fetal development utilizing models of fetal alcohol syndrome and Down syndrome. In 2000, she joined NICHD's extramural program.

Over a career that spanned 23 years, Dr. Spong served in many capacities at NIH, including as NICHD's Deputy Director, Acting Director, Associate Director for Extramural Research and Director of the Division of Extramural Research, and Chief of the Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch. She was the Chair of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Federal Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women. In 2018, she joined the faculty at UT Southwestern as Chief of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

We must recognize that inclusion is better than absence of data on treatment.”

Among Dr. Spong's areas of expertise are maternal and child health, emphasizing prematurity, fetal complications, and improving child outcomes. One of her major research interests has been the developing fetus. She holds several patents for neuroprotective agents that help prevent fetal injury. Other research interests include improving the understanding of stillbirth, fetal surgery for myelomeningocele, zika in pregnancy, and the human placenta. During her tenure at NICHD, she launched the Human Placenta Project. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion in research for under represented groups.

Dr. Spong is board-certified in maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology. She is an Editor of William's Obstetrics, Management of High Risk Pregnancy, Protocols for High-Risk Pregnancies, and Stillbirth: Prediction, Prevention and Management. She has received numerous research awards, including the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Achievement Award, the UMKC Alumnus of the Year Award, several NIH director's Awards, and a Surgeon General's Certificate of Appreciation for work on prematurity. She has published more than 270 peer-reviewed papers and been featured on national television and radio, including The CBS Early Show, the Diane Rehm Show, NPR's All Things Considered, CNN, and Voice of America, where she discussed women's health and pregnancy topics.

Education

Medical School
University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine (1991)
Residency
Harbor UCLA Medical Center (1995), Obstetrics & Gynecology
Fellowship
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (1998), Maternal Fetal Medicine

Research Interest

  • Improving child outcomes
  • Inclusion of under represented groups in evidence-based research

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Pregnancy outcomes with weight gain above or below the 2009 Institute of Medicine guidelines.
Johnson J, Clifton RG, Roberts JM, Myatt L, Hauth JC, Spong CY, Varner MW, Wapner RJ, Thorp JM, Mercer BM, Peaceman AM, Ramin SM, Samuels P, Sciscione A, Harper M, Tolosa JE, Saade G, Sorokin Y Obstet Gynecol 2013 May 121 5 969-75
Preterm births in countries with a very high human development index - Authors' reply.
Chang HH, Larson J, Blencowe H, Spong CY, Simpson JL, Lawn JE Lancet 2013 Apr 381 9875 1356-7
Long QT syndrome susceptibility mutations and pregnancy loss: another piece of a still unfinished puzzle?
Guttmacher AE, Spong CY, Willinger M JAMA 2013 Apr 309 14 1525-6
Population versus customized fetal growth norms and adverse outcomes in an intrapartum cohort.
Costantine MM, Lai Y, Bloom SL, Spong CY, Varner MW, Rouse DJ, Ramin SM, Caritis SN, Peaceman AM, Sorokin Y, Sciscione A, Mercer BM, Thorp JM, Malone FD, Harper M, Iams JD Am J Perinatol 2013 Apr 30 4 335-41
In reply.
Saade GR, Berghella V, Mercer BM, Wenstrom KD, Spong CY Obstet Gynecol 2013 Apr 121 4 879
Preventing the first cesarean delivery: summary of a joint Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists workshop. In reply.
Spong CY, Berghella V, Wenstrom KD, Mercer BM, Saade GR Obstet Gynecol 2013 Mar 121 3 687
Timing of delivery and adverse outcomes in term singleton repeat cesarean deliveries.
Chiossi G, Lai Y, Landon MB, Spong CY, Rouse DJ, Varner MW, Caritis SN, Sorokin Y, O'sullivan MJ, Sibai BM, Thorp JM, Ramin SM, Mercer BM Obstet Gynecol 2013 Mar 121 3 561-9
Preventing preterm births: analysis of trends and potential reductions with interventions in 39 countries with very high human development index.
Chang HH, Larson J, Blencowe H, Spong CY, Howson CP, Cairns-Smith S, Lackritz EM, Lee SK, Mason E, Serazin AC, Walani S, Simpson JL, Lawn JE Lancet 2013 Jan 381 9862 223-34
Cost-effectiveness of trial of labor after previous cesarean in a minimally biased cohort.
Gilbert SA, Grobman WA, Landon MB, Spong CY, Rouse DJ, Leveno KJ, Varner MW, Wapner RJ, Sorokin Y, O'Sullivan MJ, Sibai BM, Thorp JM, Ramin SM, Mercer BM Am J Perinatol 2013 Jan 30 1 11-20
Haptoglobin phenotype, preeclampsia risk and the efficacy of vitamin C and E supplementation to prevent preeclampsia in a racially diverse population.
Weissgerber TL, Gandley RE, McGee PL, Spong CY, Myatt L, Leveno KJ, Thorp JM, Mercer BM, Peaceman AM, Ramin SM, Carpenter MW, Samuels P, Sciscione A, Harper M, Tolosa JE, Saade G, Sorokin Y PLoS ONE 2013 8 4 e60479

Books

Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ediition

Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Hauth JC, Rouse DJ, Spong CY (Ed.) (2010). New York, McGraw Hill

Williams Obstetrics, 24th edition

Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Spong CY, Dashe JS, Hoffman BL, Casey BM, Sheffield JS (Ed.) (2014). New York, McGraw Hill

Protocols for Hight-Risk Pregnancies, 6th edition

Queenan JT, Spong CY, Lockwood CJ (Ed.) (2015). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell

Protocols for High-Risk Pregnancies, 5th edition

Queenan JT, Hobbins JC, Spong, CY (Ed.) (2010). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell

Queenan's Management of High-Risk Pregnancy, 6th edition

Queenan JT, Spong CY, Lockwood CJ (Ed.) (2012). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell

Management of High-Risk Pregnancy

Queenan JT, Spong CY, Lockwood CJ (Ed.) (2007). Oxford, England, Blackwell

Stillbirth: Prediction, Prevention and Management, 1st edition

Spong CY (Ed.) (2011). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Bellevue Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (2013)
  • American Gynecologic and Obstetric Society (2005)
  • Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine (2002)
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (2001)
  • Perinatal Research Society (2001)
  • Society for Gynecologic Investigation (1998)
  • Society for Neuroscience (1997)
  • American Medical Association (1987)